CliMates is 5 years old!!!


What happened during all this time?

Here is the description of five moments that were key to each year.


An eye-opening experience for many of the CliMates founding team (June 2011)

 Assuming the roles of India, China, the US, Germany, the Maldives and other national delegations, Parisian students negotiated for a week in an attempt to recreate the Copenhagen climate conference of 2009 – and see if failure was inevitable. Everyone prepared for several months and the talks were incredibly intense, as well as realistic (even if optimistic). The experience left many of us wanting for more. How, as students, could we help solve the climate crisis, in real life, once we were done pretending? Then Henri and Margot came forward with the idea of CliMates, and the adventure began to transform this idea in a real think-and-do tank to tackle climate change but also in an awesome community we are all part of!

Mathilde Imer & Antoine Ebel


The big idea

When we discussed the idea of CliMates for the first time just the two of us, just two days after the Copenhagen Conference simulation at Sciences Po. “What if we continued the excitement, the advocacy, and created the opportunity to do something as a group in climate change, this time with a real impact?,” we asked ourselves.

After this, we got up and spent two hours in front of a run down computer in a little hotel in Palermo (on vacation), emailing every single person we thought would be interested and an asset in this project, which they all proved to be.


When one CliMate emailed us saying he’d be late in submitting his paper on agriculture because there were armed attacks in his village,which were slowing down internet access, there was a moment of profound humility.

We didn’t know this CliMate all too well, but we were part of an organization together. We all felt solidarity towards him and put aside climate issues for that moment.


The closing ceremony of the 1st CliMates International Summit in Paris in October 2012.

After only a year and a few months, we were able to create a relatively large and a week long event. We gathered students from all over the world for the cause of fighting against climate change. 30 high-level experts participated, as well as Ambassador Laurence Tubiana, chief climate change negotiator for France, Paul Watkinson, and several other high profile climate change figures. We were credible, passionate, humble. It was a fulfilling and rich experience that led to many tears of joy and relief in the amphitheater.


Our first CliMates meeting when we were no longer President and Vice-president.

The new team was so motivated and brought fantastic energy and skills. Watching and listening to them go through the meeting, we knew that CliMates would continue to grow and thrive, with the same values and tremendous talent and ambition. It was very moving.


Every time we organized a meeting, the thrill of planning, thinking, laughing, trying to think outside the box as a team, was incredible. It was just as rewarding to hear similar feedback from those that took over in CliMates in the following years.

One particular meeting early in 2012 at Margot’s house is a memory filled with excitement. Margot announced that the French Government was going to award CliMates 15000 euros that year. With that decision, we basically went from having no budget to having a sufficient amount of funds to host our first event, the CliMates Summit. It was a breakthrough, a groundbreaking moment for CliMates, as the summit was a determining factor in strengthening and catalysing the network, and in making us all live a memorable moment together.

By Margot Le Guen, cofounder of CliMates & Henri Landes, cofounder and president of CliMates in 2011-2012 

Check out their feedback in 2016!


Crying while receiving the first publication (27 janvier 2012)
Have you ever cried of happiness? Well it happened to several members of the CliMates’ research team when we received, the 27th January 2012, the first ever publication of research by a CliMates member : Gonzaga Puas of Micronesia.

It was THE first one, with all its mistakes but it contained one essential thing: a different perspective on climate change. Discovering the sad reality of  global warming written by a young CliMate hit us right in the face. While reading through this paper, we were receiving a tremendous energy to find more solutions to tackle this devastating phenomenon.

This first publication was also the approval that the idea of creating a student’s think-tank was not just a fantasy. Youth from all around the world were indeed ready to train, research and write on a topic related to climate change. Obviously the quality of the paper was not as perfect as the one produced by a think tank established for 20 years. However the strength of his message, the one of a trained Mate seeking for solutions, was already giving the opportunity to influence decision makers in our own way.

By Mathilde Imer (Vice-President of CliMates 2013) & Jérôme


First CliMates home made programs
CliMates becomes a think and do tank : the launch of COP in MyCity

After a year of work with Henri, Margot and the rest of the founding team for creating a student think-tank, we decided to use our mandate to turn CliMates into a legitimate “think and do tank”, as most of the CliMates’ members wanted.

So we use the concept of simul-action, coming from the project “MyCity + 20”, a worldwide project of simulations from the Rio + 20 summit, Mathilde was creating with others friends parallel to CliMates. However this time we would focus on the COPs : COP in MyCity was born!

A few months later, Juliette would take the lead to turn this crazy idea into one of CliMates’ most successful project (along with its little sibling, Heat Wave in MyCity and its little brother “Innov-City”). It set a standard for what our projects should look like: original, fact-based, impactful, and with a strong replication potential.

By Antoine Ebel (President of CliMates 2013) & Mathilde Imer (Vice-President of CliMates 2013)


The CliMates Regional Workshop in Bogota, Colombia : a spectacular moment, from the intellectual and human standpoint (September 2013)

Why a regional workshop? Why  in Latin America? The answer was simple : to prepare for COP20, which has been so important for the process of the COP21, but also to learn and share visions and skills with youth climate activist of all Latin America (which are quite different between France and this region!).

We’d had the privilege to select from top youth activists across Latin America and the Caribbeans. Thanks to the brilliant organization team there, led by Laura with our help, they got along really well from the start (standing naked under a waterfall in the Andean mountains is a great ice-breaker!), learned a lot from each other, building plans for the future. No one had ever organized an event specifically dedicated to youth climate activists in this diverse and divided region. It was eye-opening for many of them – it created a strong impulse for cooperation and exchange, especially through the creation during this summit of the network Clic (movimiento de jovenes latinoamericanos y caribenos al frente del cambio climatico).

Clic looks today like the “little brother” of CliMates but in Latin America, which remains very active, as the organization of the COY10 and the YoutHab (coming this year) can assess. So if you want to know more about our “little brother” Clic it is here :

 By Mathilde Imer (Vice-President of CliMates 2013) & Antoine Ebel (President of CliMates 2013) & Céline


 Youth Delegate : Discovering what’s happening in the corridors of negotiations

In CliMates, we love negotiations. Then as some wanted some more, we decided to learn from the experience of other countries and (re) launch a program that would allow French young people to discover what is hiding behind the beautiful curtain of the international climate negotiations.

How? Enabling them to become part of the French delegation and thus giving them access to its meeting room as well as to negotiating rooms generally closed to observers. It would also  strengthen the links with the members of the different delegations. With our partner, the REFEDD, we therefore started the adventure again in Warsaw, and so on until COP21 and soon COP22!

Sabrina and other CliMates’ members even created a guide for youth representation at the COPs, with the help of other young international activists

 By Mathilde Imer (Vice-President of CliMates 2013) & Antoine Ebel (President of CliMates 2013)

Check out Antoine’s feedback in 2016 on his experience as president!


Creation of the movement WARN and birth of the crazy idea of COY11

After my participation in the first steps of CliMates and my support to the association as vice-president, I had the feeling that I had learned a lot ! More than I would never have imagined before getting involved in the creation of this association! For all of this, I’ll never have enough gratitude towards the CliMates’ community.

Yet I was still missing a few things: I still did not really know how to change my daily life to be in line with my values. And during a weekend that mingled members of different associations, we had two crazy ideas. First creating the movement WARN! (We Are Ready Now!) :  a movement open to all young people who want to discover how to take action and live in coherence with their values, with joy and happiness. Second to show that many young people are ready to take real actions to change their daily life in order to be more respectful of the environment through an event : the COY11!

After, you know the story: the WARN organized with the help of CliMates, Avenir climatique, REFEDD and SGDF, a crazy 3 days event, named COY11 with more than 5000 young people from all around the world!

I do believe that the COY11 and the WARN created a mind-shift of a lot of young people, who discovered how to change their daily life to tackle climate change. So, I hope that the cooperation between CliMates and the WARN will continue for a long time!

By Mathilde Imer (Vice-President of CliMates 2013)


January 2014 – Creation of the training team !

Consolidating the training branch of CliMates by officially creating a team of volunteers dedicated to the topic was a milestone in pursuing one of CliMates main goal : training the next generation of climate leaders.


April 2014 – Launch of the 2 programs

Global Climate Politics and Youth Visions for the Future. Today, one of CliMates uniqueness lies in its capacity to link research and action : two powerful means in the fight against climate change.This was made possible by changing the internal organisation from separated action and research branches into two topical programmes, bringing together action and research.


August 25th-29th 2014 – 2nd International CliMates Summit in New-York City

During this summer school, we gathered 40 passionate young people from all around the world for a 5-days program including training sessions, skill-sharing workshops, collaborative methods, and field visits. CliMates members were able to show their work to decision makers and created new projects on burning climate issues.


September 21th 2014 – People’s Climate March

CliMates met President of France to demonstrate youth readiness to change and suggest some measures for society to accelerate its transition. It was a great step in our advocacy for COP21 !


November 2014 – Boom of COP in MyCity in the world

Our community reached 7000 people, through 55 simulations and mobilization events organized in 62 cities all around the world !

By Aurore Bimont (president of CliMates in 2014)


“COP21 : Make it work!” : a climate simulation in a theater
Simulating to understand and take ownership of the challenges of climate change, we love it in CliMates! And thousands of young people in the world have already experienced it through “COP in MyCity” (and now through  “Heat Wave in MyCity” as well).But with the COP21 approaching, I felt we could go further. We therefore decided, together with CliMates, IDDRI and Sciences Po, to launch the project “Paris Climate 2015: Make it Work!”. Under the guidance of Laurence Tubiana and Bruno Latour, Frédérique Ait Touati (theater director) I attempted to implement this simulation of a new kind, with the support of other CliMates as Henri and Vivian and the participation of many others: Delphine, Victor, Bénédicte, Remy…

The goals: to test hypotheses for COP21 (and the future of international climate negotiations) and train young people over the world about climate change issues. The format: a simulation combining art, politics and games, taking place over three days (6 months before the COP21) in a theater with 210 students from 47 universities from all over the world. The result : affirming certain assumptions of the French team in charge of organizing the COP21, releasing a movie, and impacting many students in their life with this unique experience. Hopefully the simulations will still create a lot of shifts in the head of young people!
To know more about it :

By Mathilde Imer (Vice-President of CliMates 2013)


… And here we are …
The Mediterranean Youth Climate Forum – July 17th 2016

The Mediterranean Youth Climate Forum organised in Tangier, Morocco gathered nearly 200 youths from various Mediterranean countries. The event was an opportunity for participants to share their experiences and identify synergies between the projects they lead. It provided momentum for the launch of a network of youth Mediterranean organisations.

The forum was initiated by the Secretariat of the Mediterranean civil society Forum of the MEDCOP22, sponsored by the Union for the Mediterranean and organized by five youth organizations, including CliMates. A huge thanks to Leslie, Abdelkrim, Assia, Ismail, Neeshad and Serge for the amazing work they produced to make the forum and the launch of the network happen!


COP22 – November 7th – 18th 2016

After Paris, Marrakesh will be a time to assess parties and on-state actors willing to implement ambitious actions. CliMates submitted to the two UNFCCC High-Level Champions its view on their roadmap for the Global Climate Action Agenda. As a UNFCCC observer, we will advocate for a meaningful roadmap that will facilitate the implementation of the Paris agreement.

CliMates will also promote the dissemination of the Youth Delegate programme within the UNFCCC and present/introduce a panorama of the program accomplished/produced this year.

COP22 will be an opportunity to highlight a few of our projects such as the Climate migration project and Innov’City.


The Green Youth Summit in Mali – June 2016

The Green Youth Summit was one of the first projects led by CliMates Mali, and officially recognized in May.

The event was organized as part of the 17th edition of the Fortnight of the environment. It commemorated the World Day of the environment and the fight against desertification, with the participation of the Ministry of Environment Sanitation and Sustainable Development, the Agency for the Environment and Sustainable Development, the World Health Organization and the UNESCO. It mobilized Malian youth during six days, showing their will to identify challenges and their engagement for the protection of the environment.


Training of COP’ Leaders in Nepal – April 2016

The COP in MyCity team from Nepal organized its first series of “Training of Trainers” sessions in April. Thirty aspiring young people, from veterinary science to agricultural background, were taught how to organize a COP In MyCity simulation in order to become the next generation of COP’Leaders.

In 2015, six COP simulations were organized in Nepal. The success of the ToT –as well as other similar initiatives through the world, proved the capacity of COP in MyCity to remain appealing and be considered as relevant to raise awareness and trigger action.

The ToT illustrated the dynamism of our team in Nepal, whose members joined many other CliMates’ projects.


Climate Chance – 26-28 September 2016

The first edition of the Climate Chance summit will be organized in France in September 2016. Organizations from the nine UNFCCC constituencies –including from the youth constituency- are invited to join one of the 18 thematic forums of the summit. Each forum will trigger the launch of new coalitions composed of various stakeholders such as regions and local government’s organizations, professional organizations, environmental NGOs, etc. The 18 coalitions are expected to build a roadmap for future mobilizations, including activities during Habitat III conference and COP22.

CliMates has been nominated as one of the three co-organisers of the forum on education and awareness raising.

By Yann Lesestre (President of CliMates 2016)